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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffins

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Have you ever been left with a 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree leftover in your fridge? I've made a few different pumpkin treats lately, such as the Pumpkin Apple Streusel Cake that didn't require a full can of pumpkin. I always refrigerate the leftovers and then struggle to find ways to use them. I've mixed pumpkin with vanilla ice cream for a homemade pumpkin shake, but I was looking for something a little healthier this time around. I was determined to make some muffins, but most pumpkin muffins call for more than half of a cup. Instead, I took a recipe for Morning Glory muffins and used pumpkin in place of some of the oil.
 You would never guess these have over three cups of fruit and vegetables in them! Even after reducing the sugar and including whole wheat flour and ground flax, these tasted way more like an unhealthy coffee-shop muffin than they actually were. The chunks of carrot are visible throughout the muffins, but it's not so noticeable that it will frighten picky eaters. The only thing these were missing was a crunch, and only because I'd just run out of walnuts. I actually headed to the store the next day to pick up walnuts for batch #2 and I've included them in the recipe below. You can modify the recipe how you wish--omit the coconut, add chocolate chips, or sub raisins for craisins. Never throw away that last 1/2 cup of pumpkin again! (And for the few pumpkin haters out there--you'd never guess pumpkin was an ingredient, I even tested this theory!)
(You could also make Whole Wheat Pumpkin Waffles, Cinnamon Streusel Pumpkin Buns, Pumpkin Cheesecake Spice Bars, or Pumpkin Granola Bars with 1/2 cup pumpkin!)

Thank you guys for your dinner inspiration on Friday's post!! I picked my tshirt winners--commenters #4,11, and 26 [Lauren P. , Mandy, and Jane Gorski--yes my mom was randomly selected ha!]...ladies, send me an email at natalie@thesweetslife.com so that I can hook you up with your tshirt!

One Year Ago: Creamy Pumpkin Peanut Soup
Two Years Ago: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples
Three Years Ago: Pizza Fail

Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffins
adapted from allrecipes.com

-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
-1/2 cup ground flaxseed (if you don't have--just sub with flour)
-1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
-2 tsp baking soda
-2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 cups shredded carrots
-1/2 cup dried cranberries
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
-1/2 cup sweetened coconut
-1 apple, shredded
-3 eggs
-1/2 cup canola oil
-1/2 cup pumpkin puree
-2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with liners or spray with cooking spray (recipe makes 16-18 muffins).
2. Beat oil, pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. In a separate large bowl combine flours, flaxseed, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, carrots, cranberries, walnuts, coconut, and apple. Add this mixture to the beaten ingredients, stirring just until combined.
3. Divide batter evenly among prepared cups, filling about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove muffins and allow to cool on a wire rack. Store leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 days.